Louis, Abraham Berkowitz of Philadelphia, Judge I. M. Golden, Louis Ottenberg of Washington, Sigmund Livingston of Chicago and Leon Schwartz of Mobile, Ala.
Henry K. Wolff of San Francisco was elected chief justice of the B’nai B’rith Court of Appeals.
PALESTINE A WORLD SOLUTION
“Palestine is the solution not only of the Geman-Jewish problem, but of the problem of victimized Jews throughout the world,” declared Prof. Norman Bentwich, former attorney general of Palestine, at yesterday’s session of the convention.
“In Palestine,” he declared, “a home is being built not only for Jews, but for Judaism.”
Prof. Bentwich said that the hope of eventually going to Palestine was the chief factor in the present sound morale of German Jewry. “Palestine offers opportunities for hundreds of Jews who are denied the most elementary rights elsewhere in the world,” he said.
Lashing out at Poland and other Eastern and Central European countries, Prof. Bentwich declared that conditions of Jews in those lands are fully as bad, economically, as they are today in Germany. He said that in his opinion the Polish government is not anti-Semitic, and even attempts to stem the tide of Jew-hatred, which nevertheless is rising because of a spirit of rabid chauvinism on the part of the people. The economic basis for Jews in Poland, Austria and other countries has been completely cut away, he said.
“Of the 3,000,000 Jews in Poland, 1,000,000 are actually supported by public charity,” Prof. Bentwich continued. “The other two million are living at a level below that of human decency. The same conditions are true in Austria and Hungary, where the same anti-Semitism and lack of opportunity exist. Throughout eastern Europe, the Jews are struggling to retain the basic status of emancipation they won during the 19th century.”
The situation cannot be fought by force, nor even by diplomacy, he concluded. “It is necessary,” he said, “for world Jewry to make a great constructive effort to help the younger generation, both in Germany and in other benighted lands. In this work, American Jewry has done far from its proper share, he declared.
“There are 100,000 refugees from Germany since Hitler came to power,” said Dr. Bentwich. “Eighty thousand are Jews. Twenty-five thousand have been integrated into Palestine economy and are taken care of. One thousand are being absorbed into the economic life of countries across the seas, including the United States, and about 8,000 in European countries, but there remain some 1,000 Jews from Germany who today face starvation and demoralization, those who have not been absorbed anywhere and cannot be absorbed anywhere. They must have a home provided for them immediately, or they perish. Many are drifting toward suicide and madness.”
German Jewish youth must be sent to other lands, where they can grow up away from the scorn and hatred that surrounds them at German public schools, according to Dr. Bentwich. He added that only 6,000 Jewish children attended Jewish schools in Germany before Hitler’s accession, but that between 30,000 and 40,000 attends schools today.
An insurgent move to curtail the broad powers of the B’nai B’rith Executive Committee broke out on the convention floor late yesterday afternoon and succeeded in bringing about sweeping changes in the organization’s constitution.
One of the outstanding changes provides for a convention every three years instead of every five years as at present.
This change means that the headquarters of the B’nai B’rith will be moved to Washington within three years instead of five as had been indicated in a resolution adopted by the session earlier in the day.
Several convention delegates criticized the executive committee for its authorization of huge expenditures in the conduct of B’nai B’rith activities. These charges were followed by other charges alleging the executive committee to be “dictators.”
A resolution favoring birth control was defeated by the convention.